I shop the manager’s specials bin at the meat counter.
For years I avoided this space thinking the meat was bad…but then, my favorite independent butcher told me it had some of the best value-to-flavor cuts of meat. “The beef in particular ages in those sealed plastic vacu-paks so it’s truly ‘wet aged,’” he explained, “and that is something you pay extra for sometimes.”
That week I purchased my first 30 percent off package of meat with an expiration date of today…and it was super. I avoid chicken, and stick with the pork and beef cuts that are in the original meat-packing-house sealed packaging…and it’s been a big budget booster.
Yesterday, I was at the store shopping for something on the list. By habit, I swung by the Manager’s Special Bin in the meat department and found a 16-ounce pork tenderloin that was two days away from the expiration date…with a big ‘ol 30 percent off sticker on it. For $4, I had a pound cut of flavorful and tender meat.
I used the recipe below to create a simple and flavorful Asian-inspired feast. Of course, you can serve the tenderloin as-is or, as we did – use a prepared sauce with a bit of sweet to it, to help serve as a foil to the spice mix. I’d enjoy hearing from you about your interpretation of this recipe.
Welcome to the Cookout!
Pork tenderloin is a prime cut of tender and flavorful meat that is versatile and so easy to grill. Chef Barry shares an example of a bargain he turned into a tasty and elegant week-night dinner using just a few ingredients from the spice drawer.
- 16-ounce pork tenderloin trimmed of silver skin and cut into two sections: the tapered end and main section of the muscle.
- Asian 5-spice powder
- Store mix curry powder
- Cumin powder
- Ginger powder
- Soy sauce
- Olive oil
- Remove tenderloin from package and trim the tapered end off the roast.
- Add to large sealable plastic bag and flavor-to-taste with spices - I generally use about 1/4 teaspoon per each dry powder spice and a dash each of the olive oil and soy sauce.
- Seal the bag and massage the spices, oil and soy sauce into the meat. Place in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours to marinate.
- Remove meat from bag and place on hot grill with grate temperatures no higher than 500°F degrees
- "Where it hits it sits." translation: let me meat sit for a few minutes before using tongs to turn, that way the grates will do their job to sear the meat surface. The spices may burn a bit - this flavor will be balanced with a sweet (plum, apricot, cherry, etc.) sauce at presentation.
- Cook until temperature reads 140°F. The temperature will continue to rise to 145°F as the meat rests.
- Rest for about 5-8 minutes and slice into medallions to serve.
Check the internal temperature of the meat prior to cooking to get a sense of how much cooking the meat will need to bring it to the end temperature. The smaller tapered end will cook faster and can be removed from the grill before the section of the muscle. Spices can burn at higher temperatures - this can be a desired result, or not - so plan to use a sweeter glaze to balance this flavor profile. A prepared jam or jelly can be brushed on when the meat is removed from the cooker to create a thin layer of flavor.
This recipe created by Barry 'CB" Martin, Chief Grilling Officer for Char-Broil, LLC